Millennials are becoming increasingly aware of the strain we are putting on the eco-system and how we are affecting the environment. With increased awareness comes increased calls for a change. The eco-friendly environment has launched several movements in favor of the environment such as the no plastics movement, the more sustainable vegan diet and the zero waste lifestyle. The next change that should be petitioned for is environment tax, and businesses should get advice from their respective legal firms, such as McQuarrie, to get an idea on what is to be expected from this green initiative.
Commercial businesses should be held accountable for their contribution to pollution, deforestation and carbon footprint. In an ideal world, there would be a perfect system which keeps track of what damages each business has done to the environment and the businesses would have to do their part in reversing the damages – pay their dues in a sense.
Take for instance, one of the largest fast food chains in the world: McDonald’s. They are one of the largest contributors of food waste and litter (made up of packaging), this is followed by cigarette butts (placing second on the list of what litter is found on Britain’s streets). This amount is completely unacceptable and is putting a strain on our world’s resources. While the franchise is doing its best to cut down on their waste, it is too little too late. Barring that, if we look at the carbon emissions alone from their cow farms, they should be paying for a load of environment tax, were it a valid legislation currently.
At present, France and a few other countries are the only ones with any semblance of an environment or green tax. The country is demanding a fee from all departing flights. They are currently standing at “€1.50 for economy flights up to €18 for business-class flights outside of Europe. It aims to bring in €180m from 2020”. Transport minister, Elisabeth Borne, said that “the money raised by the new tax would be spent on improving transport links in France.”
This brings us to the next point: transparency. Once of the biggest challenges faced by the environmental sector all over the world is how much people pocket the money meant for a greater cause. It is hard to keep track of how money flows once it has begun circulating. Corruption often exists in pockets between organizations and governments. This is a crucial step in securing prior to implementing any semblance of green tax as it would not do if the money does not actually go back to the environment and research on sustainability.
Furthermore, there is the problem of implementation. Who qualifies for the tax and how should it be quantified? Should all businesses be held liable, even if they are a small startup or a craft business that operates at home with handicrafts made from recycled items? Or should businesses that pass a certain net profit be charged with protecting the environment? These are technicalities best left to the government and their legal teams to figure out but it is a future we should be fighting towards: a world where the environment comes first.